Ep.15: How would your last boss describe you?

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We walk you through the best practices for how to respond to "How would your last boss describe you?"

This video is part of the job-applications.com Ultimate Guide to interviewing. Our goal is to teach you how to give the best answers to common interview questions. How it works is we examine a common response from a real person, evaluate it, then give you tips on how to give an even better answer.

For a complete guide to job hunting. Check our or eBook. Now available on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Person-Paper-Online-Ultimate-Hunting-ebook/dp/B0168SL8XA


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[Transcript]

This answer was a good start, but it’s too vague. Speaking in generalities rarely wins over interviewers. He could easily improve this answer by going into more detail and giving reasons which explain why his last boss would say those things about him. Here’s another example of an answer that isn’t very convincing because it is too generic. After she answered, we simply asked her to give a reason why her boss would commended her like she stated and here is what she added:
See how much more convincing that little addition makes her answer? With this interview question, you need to be able to back up your claims with some reasoning.

Something verifiable, like a performance review, would be very effective here. Performance reviews are ideal because they are unbiased. They tell the interviewer how the company actually perceived you instead of how you claim they did.
When you make a statement like, “My last boss would say I’m motivated,” you can then validate it by adding: “In fact, she mentioned that in my last performance review with the company. She praised me for my self-motivation and said she appreciated how I always worked with a sense of urgency.”
If you plan to talk about a performance review, it would be best to bring a copy of it to the interview. That way you can tell then say “I brought it with me if you would like to see it.” In doing that, you have tangible evidence to support your claims. It will also show that you did some preparation for the interview, which interviewers appreciate.
(Most employers will let you have a copy of your performance review, but remember, its’s easiest to get that copy at the time of the review.)
A letter of recommendation is another way to give your claim some validity. And again, it’s something you can bring with you as proof.
(You want to use letters of recommendations from past supervisors, instructors, or coaches)
If you want to know more about what you should bring to the interview, watch our video here.
If you don’t have things like performance reviews or letters of recommendation to draw your answer from, you still have other choices. You could show off your sales skills by highlighting sales goals you’ve surpassed. Or you could brag about your productivity by bringing up any performance-based rewards you’ve earned.
Finally, if you don’t have anything evidence which can validate why your boss would commend you, then tell a story about a time where you did an excellent job and improved the company. A good way to frame your story is to use the C.A.R. method, which I talk about more in depth here.
Now that you know you can use performance reviews, recommendations, past performances, and success stories, you should have no trouble answering “How would your last boss describe you?”
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